As any author who has self-published via KDP will know, Amazon allows the publisher to select up to two categories on the ‘Your book’ page of the submission form. Some books clearly fall into a specific category and, within certain categories (fantasy and thrillers, for example), there are also numerous subcategories. My own book, Departure and Other Stories, does not seem to fit well into any of Amazon’s categories except for ‘Fiction > Short stories’ and ‘Fiction > General’. The book is about real (well, they could be) people living in a realistic, modern day town, dealing with issues and situations that real people face. Amazon has a ‘family life’ category, but that’s not a theme in all of the stories that comprise my book.
Non-genre or ‘general’ fiction seems to be one of the hardest categories in which self-published authors can garner interest for their work. One contributor on a ‘support’ forum told me (and I’m paraphrasing): not to bother even trying, that I should switch to writing in a genre that sells.
I can see why it’s difficult to get ‘general’ fiction noticed. I’ve purposefully been looking for self-published works of fiction to read that are categorised as general like my own and I’m struggling to find many with the search parameters I am using. I’ve tried browsing in ‘Kindle Books’ under ‘Literature and Fiction’ and then in: ‘British & Irish’ or ‘Contemporary Fiction’ or ‘Literary Fiction’ or ‘Short Stories’ and narrowing down further from there. I’ve also tried using keywords/phrases such as: ‘contemporary short stories’, ‘modern British short fiction’, and similar. Even using those parameters, I’m finding a lot of genre fiction.
So, here’s an invitation: if you’ve self-published a book on Amazon that falls into the ‘Fiction > General’ category (whether it be a novel, a shorter work, or a collection of short stories) then please feel free to leave a link to your book in the comments section at the end of this post. Obviously, I can’t promise to buy and read every book submitted, but I’ll definitely aim to take a ‘look inside’ with the requisite free sample. If I like what I see then, you never know, you might make a sale. You will also be making your book known to other readers of this blog.
NB: If your book is categorised within a genre but you genuinely feel it has general appeal then you are welcome to also submit the link. But please don’t submit links to books that are predominantly horror, crime, romance, erotica, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, non-fiction, or installments in a longer series. Those are not what I’m looking for in this instance.